Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ballard Blames Sloppy Legal Work By City's Attorneys For Vision Fleet Flap

M. Alex Beatty
The confusion over what contract governs the City of Indianapolis' 7-year, $32 million agreement with Vision Fleet to lease a fleet of more than 400 electric and hybrid cars is now being blamed by Mayor Greg Ballard on sloppy legal work by a couple of the city's attorneys, not internal confusion within his administration. WTTV's Russ McQuaid got the Mayor's reaction to the discovery that the City re-wrote a contract it initially entered into with the untested, unknown company in February 2014 and backdated contract documents without actually rescinding the first contract it signed.
. . . “No, I don’t think it was internal confusion,” the mayor told CBS4 Indy. “You’ve got to understand, in contract law, if the parties are not in dispute, the parties to the contract are fine with each other, so that’s not the problem. The problem is this is just sloppy legal work on a couple peoples’ part. That’s what it is.”
The “sloppy legal work” Ballard referred to included inconsistencies in contract language and submissions to city county councilors and reporters, backdated, undated and unnumbered signature pages and at least three different signature pages attached to various versions of the $32 million seven-year lease/rental/fleet services deal that promises to deliver 425 electric and electric-hybrid cars to Indianapolis’ municipal fleet by the end of this year.
An admitted example of the “sloppy legal work” described by his boss would be Corporation Counsel Andy Seiwert’s acknowlegement that his staff should have revoked an original Lease Agreement which was replaced by a backdated Master Fleet Agreement in the spring of 2014 . . .
Nonetheless, Ballard remains convinced the city's contract with Vision Fleet is a good one that will save the taxpayers money despite there being no evidence it will save one dime. The city attorney in charge of the legal work on the project was Alex Beatty. He's the same attorney the administration has put in charge of re-working the City's process of entering into real estate lease agreements after the one-sided, costly lease agreement the City entered into for the Regional Operations Center created a firestorm with council members. Beatty's LinkedIn profile lists the Vision Fleet lease as one of the transactions on which he served as lead counsel, along with that controversial recycling agreement with Covanta that raised a lot of eyebrows.

The fact remains that Ballard's administration illegally entered into yet another contract by failing to put the proposed lease agreement out for bid, and by failing to obtain the approval of the City-County Council. The Ballard administration has no fear of breaking the law because there is nobody to stop them from doing it. Marion Co. Prosecutor Terry Curry refuses to investigate the rampant corruption occurring in the Ballard administration either due to gross incompetence on his part or because of some corrupt deal he entered into with the Republicans not to investigate crimes committed by Republican officeholders in exchange for throwing last year's prosecutor's race in which Curry was re-elected. That was the first election in known history that the Republicans in Marion County did not seriously contest the prosecutor's race. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Indianapolis is perhaps the weakest office in the country when it comes to investigating and prosecuting public corruption.


Anonymous said...

Attorneys in Indiana do suck, because they're so used to cases and transactions being decided on politics and not law that the Indiana legal community learns to do legal work politically instead of legally.

An Indiana attorney in another state has to re-learn how to do law.

Anonymous said...

Like the many U.S. citiens who have voter regret when it comes to having cast a ballot for the America-hating socialist Barak Obama, I am so damned ashamed I voted for Greg Ballard. Ballard is a thorough embarrassment to this City- there are rumors about his lack of character, leadership, and his intentional dishonesty throughout our failed mayor's military service and it just seems to me that these psychological flaws continue to present themselves again and again underlying what must be truth to all the whispers.

Go home, Greg Ballard. Go home!

Eric Morris said...

anon @ 738: Don't hate the player(s), hate the Game. The State itself should be the focus rather than individual actors like this attorney or that mayor. Shrink the State and shrink its concomitant corruption.

I don't see any difference in the corruption here than most other places, except maybe some places have more of a two-party con game Ponzi scheme going.

Anonymous said...

In the military officers learn that The Buck Stops at the commander's desk. Commanding officers do not pass the buck because they are held responsible for what goes on in their command.

(Ballard claimed to be an O-5 military officer; yet his actions don't appear to match an acceptable Officer Evaluation.)

For him to say: "I had a bad legal team" now that his improper activity has been brought to light is just laughable. said...

Has anyone ever done a review of UniGov and made any sort of assessment of whether it is worth keeping? Churchill said something about even if a strategy is brilliant every once in a while you should look at the results.

Anonymous said...

Seems like the administration is just trowing a low level attorney under the bus and dragging his name through the mud when the higher ups were really the ones responsible

Anonymous said...

This is why the prosecutors office is the most important election for those in the know. When you support the politician running for that office you're buying his/her ability to look the other way. Just ask Tim Durham.

Re: Ballard. That man has told so many lies,lies upon lies. If the truth were flogging him upon his forehead he would not be able to recognize it.